Crispian Jago: always look on the bright side of death
Science Based Medicine
- Do moon phases affect our health?
- “Forest bathing”: an alternative therapy you probably never heard of
- The sale of alternative medicines: proper regulation of nonsense will inevitably result in nonsense
- The NHS ban of homeopathy … and what the UK press made of it. Are UK journalists slowly learning?
My goal at Friendly Atheist is to inform people about what’s happening in the world through a skeptical lens. That means offering my opinions on politics (which, in the U.S., in highly tied to the Christian Right), LGBTQ rights, feminism, and other issues impacted by irrational thinking. I post several articles a day, and have done so for more than a decade.
The site receives millions of views per month and is frequently cited by other news sources.
As for the four pieces, here are some I’m exceptionally proud of for various reasons:
- Christians Are Harassing the Atheist Lawyer Who Won the Pensacola Cross Case
I saw that a church/state separation lawyer was getting harassed online after a victory. I was able to write this post and turn a disturbing story into a celebration of the attorney’s work.
- Don’t Blame Joel Osteen for Keeping His Megachurch Closed During the Hurricane
Just a couple of weeks ago, when a hurricane hit the city of Houston, I saw a lot of atheists criticizing Pastor Joel Osteen for refusing to open his megachurch as a shelter. At the time, there was no information suggesting the Christians COULD use the building in that way, and I was proud to publish this post at a time when everyone else was piling onto Osteen. It turned out that there were concerns that the building would be unsafe, which is why the doors didn’t open for everyone immediately. (Osteen said other problematic things days later, but I feel my reporting was fair at the time.)
- This Christian Pastor is Furious That Someone Donated to Planned Parenthood in His Name
When I saw that an anti-abortion pastor was furious that someone had donated to Planned Parenthood in his name, I urged readers to give even more because his criticism of the organization was based on lies and misinformation. They did just that… and the pastor got angrier and angrier. I don’t know how much money was raised, but I was thrilled that highlighting his over-the-top reaction raised a lot of money for a wonderful cause.
- I Spoke With a Christian Terrorist Threatening Atheists in Tennessee
Atheists were planning to erect a statue of a pro-evolution attorney outside the courthouse where a famous debate took place and where a Creationist attorney’s statue already stood. I learned that one local critic was planning to bring a gun to the unveiling and had made threatening posts on Facebook. I reported on all of this and gave her a call. Because of that — and the subsequent attention — there was ample security at the event and no troubling incidents.
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CRISPIAN JAGO: ALWAYS LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE OF DEATH
A brief summary of what my blog does.
When people are diagnosed with terminal cancer we all seem to have different coping mechanisms. Personally I find it much easier to be completely open and transparent about my illness, indeed wring about the progression of my disease also seems to be very therapeutic.
As a former skeptical blogger I also wanted to see how my notorious stoical skeptical views would stand up when truly tested against the desperation of terminal cancer. Not only have my skeptical views and rejection of quackery, pseudoscience and religious faith held firm, they have given me the strength to carry on and face up to my prognosis with reality rather then the need to lie to myself that everything is OK. It has also taught me to ensure that I concentrate the time I have remaining on what is truly important, family, friends and quality of life rather than uncritically grasping at useless straws that will do nothing but distract my quality of life for the short time that I most probably have left. The blog also slightly autobiographical and hopefully allows me to pass a few memories on to my children, and perhaps who knows, one day, grandchildren?
The blog is written as a book in chapters that follow on from one another, however just picking the first 4 chapters would probably not give and example of the diversity within the blog. I Therefore selects these 4 chapters:
- Chapter 1: Balliol College, Oxford.
- Chapter 6: Alien Abductions and Cystoscopies
- Chapter 17: The Ladybird Book of Extremely Tedious Oncological Platitudes
- Chapter 26: Conference Season
Science-Based Medicine (SBM) is a blog dedicated to promoting the highest standards and traditions of science in medicine and health care through the application of skepticism and critical thinking to health claims. Our mission is to scientifically examine medical and health topics of interest to the public by reviewing newly published studies, skeptically examining dubious medical claims and products, providing much needed scientific balance to the often credulous health reporting, and exploring issues related to the regulation of scientific quality in medicine.
The philosophy of SBM, at its core, is simple: Safe and effective health care is critical to everyone’s quality of life; so much so that it is generally considered a basic human right.
The best method for determining which medical interventions and health products are safe and effective is, without question, the application of rigorous science. Therefore it is in everyone’s best interest for health care to be systematically evaluated by the best science available. With the rise of “integrative medicine” and the increasing infiltration of pseudoscience in medical academia, SBM serves as a critical and influential beacon of reason that pushes back against this tide of irrationality.
Here are four of our best articles from the last year or so:
- 1. What the Health: A Movie with an Agenda
- 2. Legislative Alchemy 2017: Naturopaths push licensing and practice expansion while in damage control over IV turmeric death
- 3. Cleveland Clinic Fully Embraces Pseudoscience
- 4. Does chemotherapy cause cancer to spread?